Opinion & Editorial

Views expressed in Opinion & Editorial do not necessarily reflect the views of IECN

Vote Summer Zamora Jorrin, District 2

Along with my family, friends, and neighbors, I am voting for Summer Zamora Jorrin as our next District 2 council member and I urge everyone to join us. I like that she is a younger candidate and has the energy to be a responsive and active council member. As a lifelong resident, I feel our city needs new people in office and not the same elected officials that have already served for decades. In order to move our city on the right path and progress we need fresh faces and different ideas. The fact that she personally knocked on our door to introduce herself and answer our questions is encouraging to me. Usually we are only left information by campaign workers and never meet the candidate directly, but I’ve frequently seen her walking in our district and talking to residents for weeks. Finally, I was encouraged to learn that she has been endorsed by Colton’s General Unit Employees, the Colton Fire Association and the Sun Newspaper’s Editorial Board. This makes me even more confident that I will make the best choice to represent my family when I vote to elect Summer Zamora Jorrin for City Council District 2.

Nicole Ramirez, Lifelong Colton Resident

Voting for Baca and Hirtz

Deeds and actions speak louder than words, therefore I am “Voting for Councilmembers Lynn Hirtz and Joe Baca, Jr. . They both have character, integrity and a total commitment to the Residents and the City of Rialto. They also have the endorsement and support of the Rialto Police Benefit Assn. and the Rialto Firefighters. For the first time in years we have a Valid City Balanced Budget. Lynn is an experienced business woman, and with her husband Dan they have had a successful Lawnmower center for 44 years in Rialto. Joe is a Rialto native and family man. He is a Rialto High School teacher and involved with all the sports activities and a coach. He helped to start the Rialto Sports Hall of Fame. They both attend and participate at the events in Rialto. Let us vote on November 4 and elect Lynn and Joe, so our City can continue going forward in our quest for a stronger Rialto.

Greta Hodges Rialto, CA

Vote wisely in Colton on November 4

So Mr. Gonzales wants us to believe his campaign statements when he says he “Abolished the utility tax”. Sorry, NOT TRUE! Gonzales was not even on the council when that happened. In fact, his opponent for mayor, Mr. DeLaRosa, cast the deciding vote to kill this tax when he was sitting on the Council. “Return financial stability”, again I don’t believe that to be true. How can it be when Mr. Gonzales just voted for the current budget with a $1.8 MILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT! Doesn’t sound like financial stability to me! Then he states “Lowered utility rates 10%”. Add all the reductions that have occurred since Mr. Gonzales has been on the council and you get about 5.6% reduction for some, higher rates for others. Not such a good deal. And he failed to mention that he voted to approve additional pass through money from the electric department to the city to spend as it pleased. This money if left in the electric dept. could have resulted in lower rates for everyone! Last, I have taken a close look at who has contributed money to Mr. Gonzales campaign. Very little has come from local residents, but tens of thousands of dollars from outside, special interests. Most distressing of all is the $10,000.00 plus he has received from several Los Angeles area companies who is managed and/or governed by Allan Steward who was convicted along with several other then current or past Colton Mayors or Council Members for bribery. Why is Mr. Gonzales now accepting large amounts of money from this persons companies? We don’t need any more scandals in Colton. And didn’t Mr. Gonzales ever learn that you are judged by the company you keep? Doesn’t look very good from my point of view! Misleading statements and questionable money contributions. Colton does not need to take chances on its future. Please vote wisely on November 04, 2014.

Steven Cade Colton, Ca

The Heart and Soul Mayoral Race of Colton

Two hometown candidates are putting fourth every effort to win the 2014 Colton mayoral election. Both have great experience and knowledge of Colton politics. These two candidates bring forth their ideas for Colton’s future, some new and some old. Candidate De La Rosa, age 50, and candidate Gonzalez, age79, are not going to see things eye to eye, and for the better of the community the right candidate must be elected for the job. We need growth, fresh ideas, and old-issues resolved, Councilman Gonzales speaks of having the power, but doesn’t place his statement on any specific agenda for the good of the city. Candidate De La Rosa continually puts forth the statement that he works for the people of Colton “the residents”, listening to and acting upon their needs and concerns. Both candidates have 12 years plus direct involvement in Colton politics. However, we need a candidate with an impact on Colton’s needs. We don’t need a “GODFATHER”, we need a mayor that listens and that’s not intimidating. We need one that takes orders, not gives them. We need someone who will ask, listen and act with a sincere heart, not consumed by just having the “POWER”. Which of these candidates will do this for our community, our City? Which one clearly has the vitality, wisdom, and sincere leadership to do the job for the people? So I ask my community of 68 years to pull together and make the choice on November 4, 2014. Our youth are counting on us to responsibly choose the right candidate so that our city can grow in a positive direction, persevere, and create a solid foundation for their future!

Carmelita Gonzalez, Lifelong Colton Resident

“who is who” – for the Mayor of Colton

Five prominent advocate council members and the current mayor of Colton all support, endorse and back-up candidate Richard De La Rosa in the 2014 mayoral election. They feel that Richard is the man for the job. With only two weeks left until Election Day it is vital to know who your candidates really are. For instance, in the October 16th issue of a local newspaper, Frank Gonzales is quoted stating “it’s totally wrong, making allegations that are totally false.” He stated this regarding the wrong doing of misappropriation of public funds, which he was allegedly accused of. Mr. Gonzales being hypocritical did the same thing to candidate Richard De La Rosa regarding a meeting that took place at Denny’s restaurant in Colton back in July of 2013. Mr. Gonzales wrongfully accuses candidate Richard De La Rosa of being a part of “…a deliberate conspiracy on their part to try and hurt my campaign, period, because I wouldn’t go along with their conspiracy to get the votes.” However this meeting consisted of members of the Colton City Council, residents, business owners, and not only the individuals of Colton First who always have great concerns for the city of Colton. This meeting was brought together due to the concerns for the cities progress and the upcoming mayoral election. It took place to find out where we stood as collective and concerned individuals for the betterment of the city and its future. At the end of the meeting Mr. Gonzales was visually upset because of the request of the city council and other attendees of the meeting encouraging him to remain running for his district, which would therefore bring, for the first time in history, a fully united city council with the mayor being a unanimous choice and that mayor being candidate Richard De La Rosa. Mr. Gonzales angrily blurted out, verbatim ” No, I want the power!” His mind was made up and his decision was made with no concerns over the fact that if he were to win, it would be without the support of the entire city council. There is no truth to any conspiracy or that candidate De La Rosa has anything to do with Colton First. Candidate De La Rosa does not need anyone but the residents of Colton to base his decisions on. Candidate De La Rosa has proven to be fair, direct, and a man of integrity, a twelve-year veteran of Colton politics with a track record of progress. Running for mayor is a huge undertaking, which requires deep forethought with joining forces. At the end of the day those forces turned out to be five members of the city council and the current mayor in full support of candidate Richard De La Rosa. Frank Gonzales was a decent mayor but not a powerful one. Colton NEEDS strength, intense activity and a fresh, new out-look with resolution to the existing prevalent issues within the city. Candidate De La Rosa can resolve issues and give the driving force the city needs. Do your homework and make our Colton a town to be proud of. Choose the right candidate to make a difference.

Mrs. Henoveva Guadalupe Colton, CA

Fall: It’s all about Oktoberfest and haunts

Yazmin Alvarez

It’s the middle of October and you’re thinking, what’s there to do?

Well, have I got the answer for you.

I’m going to keep it simple:

Oktoberfest at the Fairplex in Pomona ;The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor and Knott’s Scary Farm.

First, let’s talk beer.

Oktoberfest at the Fairplex is far from the bro-filled beer-fest these events are usually tapped with. Of course, you have your usual annoying few, but overall this was just a huge Bavarian music, German food and chicken dance filled good time.

Muscle up to chug down the crisp Oktoberfest brew and take your chances at the stein holding competition for both men and women.Not as easy at it looks – trust.

Now moving on to the scary. The, “I should have brought a change of pants” kind of scary.

I’m talking about the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor.

Let me just be honest here. I had fear tears in one of the mazes. I was genuinely freaked. Yea sure, I’m a chicken but this was a different kind of scared. Like, I felt uneasy scared.

Good, right?

There are three mazes that actually take place on the ship which, explains my uneasiness. And I’m only going to talk about one. The one that gave me the gut feeling to vomit because it scared my pants off.

That’s “B340.”

This maze takes you through the bowels of the haunted ship. You literally get the smell of horror. You walk through hallways of loose body parts and end up in the bloodied room of Samuel the Savage and a half-eaten body. Doesn’t sound too creepy, right? Well, I think all the legends and haunts that come with the ship itself offer up a good scare.

Knott’s.

With a few brand new mazes like Voodoo and The Tooth Fairy and the much talked about Special Ops: Infected Zombie shooting experience along with some favorites like the return of Elvira – the legendary Mistress of the Dark.

First, shooting zombies.

You get to arm yourself with specially designed laser guns to hunt zombies throughout six-acres of the park. You get paired up in a group, and are led by a Squad Leader – a loud mouthed, take-no-prisoners commander charged with turning you into a soldier. But don’t take your time here, you’re on the clock and screaming, dragging their body zombies are after you. It’s lazer tag on roids basically.

Now the new mazes.

Voodoo: Trudge cautiously through the cursed swamps of the Deep South and some bloody sacrifices and demons curss. In this maze, you create your own path.

Instead of making your way through narrow pathways, you’re dumped into a southern swamp with forks in the road that lead you to voodoo rituals and other experiences.

A tip: start the night here. By the time the park was closing the line was still wrapped around.

The Tooth Fairy: Yes, exactly what it sounds like but this tooth fairy is a deranged dentist.

Some special effects in this maze include a blackout room where you have to feel your way out and then you’re guided by a disorienting x-ray strobe light room. If you’re afraid of the dentist, well, here’s your chance to face your fears and say, “aahhh.”

Now for Elvira. In her new show she becomes the Ring-Mistress of the Park as she hosts a circus carnival of macabre freaks and sinister side show acts. This show is not for those with a sensitive stomach. Balloons in places, humans bending in ways and swords… long sharp swords being ingested. Suk it up and check it out, it’s worth it.

Oktoberfest at the Fairplex: Friday-Sunday now through Oct. 26. Ticket info: www.oktoberfestatfairplex.com

The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor: Now through Oct. 2. Ticket info: www.queenmary.com

Knott’s Scary Farm: Now through Nov. 1. Ticket info: www.knotts.com

 

Vote Yes on Measures Q and R

Recently San Bernardino votes received the flyer from the “Citizens Against Measure Q,” paid for by the San Bernardino City Firefighters’ Union PAC. This document is filled with untruths and innuendos that need to be clarified. One glaring example is that Wildwood Park and the controversial plans for it have NOTHING to do with Measure Q. Measures Q and R were put on the ballot after lengthy discussion by a citizens committee appointed to analyze the 46-page San Bernardino City Charter, and to recommend changes that would begin to make a difference in the financial hemorrhaging of our city. Both of the measures which were eventually put on the ballot by the City Council have financial implications. Measure Q would replace the provisions of Section 186 of the City Charter with language providing for salaries of safety personnel to be set by collective bargaining, as are the salaries of all other city employees. Why should one group of employees have the advantage of automatic salary adjustments? All other city employees, such as those who work in the offices, the streets, the libraries and the parks negotiate through their unions for changes in their salaries. As most of us know, that is what collective bargaining is all about. It is unfair for safety employees to have the special privileges that Section 186 provides them. Section 186 is unusual in its specificity giving actual steps, classifications and salary schedules. No other city, including those which are used by the safety unions to establish average salaries as required by 186, has such specificity in its charter—in all cases, the salaries are negotiated through collective bargaining. San Bernardino cannot afford Section 186, which ties the hands of those we elect to provide services of all kinds for the citizens of the city. As an example, Section 186 has resulted through the years in exorbitant salaries for our firefighters. The top 40% make an average of $190,000 per year; the next 40% make an average of $166,000 per year. We must begin to get our city through bankruptcy and on the road to providing the services that are expected of an “All-America” city. Vote yes on Measures Q and R.

Dorothy Garcia, San Bernardino

Regurgitated City Elections

As Election Day, November 4th quickly approaches, the campaign signs come out. Not to my surprise, we see the regurgitated names of individuals running for council positions that they either currently hold, have held in the past. Current and ex council members are now running for Mayor, (DeLaRosa, and Gonzalez). District representatives that are going unopposed as if they’ve done such an outstanding job in this city that no one could match their performance, (Toro)……really? It’s no wonder this city continues down the same pathetic path year after year. How can anyone expect the status quo to change if we continue putting the same people in office that contributed to the cities decline in the first place? Budget inconsistencies, going through city managers like a revolving door, no accountability and exorbitant electric rates have become common place along with a declining downtown area with multiple vacant businesses with blank signs seen from the freeway. Nothing will ever change unless we bring new faces, new blood and fresh ideas into the council seats. Unfortunately I don’t see that happening any time soon. Colton will wake up November 5th to the same old same old. Well, at least the city will save money by not having to purchase new name plates for the council seats. Hey Citizens for Colton First, you clearly made your voice heard in support of the Mayor Chastain recall attempt and eventual election loss. Where are your voices now? Satisfied with the status quo?

Gary B. Leibelt Colton

Please join me and VOTE YES ON PROPOSITIONS ” Q” and ” R”

San Bernardino’s City Charter needs to be simplified. Reduce it from 45 pages to a more reasonable 10 or 12. The Charter should be easy to Understand, yet allow enough flexibility that future generations can adjust for the needs of their times. Proposition Q will change Section 186. Section 186 mandates police and firefighter salaries to be the average of 10 like-sized cities. San Bernardino does not have the wealth of 10 Jike-sized cities. Average household income for citizens of SB is $40,000, far below that of the other ten cities. San Bernardino is also in bankruptcy. IF Section 186 were changed, police and fire pay will be set by collective bargaining, as is done for other city employees. This would allow City Management an opportunity to exercise good judgment over a significant portion of the budget. Safety employees currently take approximately 70% of the budget. This leaves very little for streetlights, pothole repair, parks and other city services. Why are the safety unions fearful of periodic collective bargaining? Proposition R would remove Section 254, the requirement that terminated employees continue to be paid until they have an opportunity for the Civil Service Board to hear an appeal. Terminated employees can still recoup lost wages IF they convince the Board they were wrongfully terminated. (If the employee was not wrongfully terminated, the City has given away money it can never recoup.) I again urge you to VOTE YES ON PROPOSITIONS Q AND R. Our future and the tate of this City may depend on it.

Thank you, Linda, Daniels San Bernardino

San Bernardino city should be more open to the arts

By Anthony Victoria

Gloomy San Bernardino. Where is the love?

The love for art, I mean. Art is most likely not on the city council’s priority list, considering that they are up against a bankruptcy and two giant public employee unions at the moment. However as a resident and fervent supporter of the arts, I encourage some of our councilmembers and Mayor to put more attention into creating an art culture for our city’s youth.

In a modern society where activities like reading and writing are no longer commonplace for youth, it is important we look for alternatives to help stimulate their minds. It can help community leaders instill a sense of pride among the city’s most troubled youth.

One form of art that is always frowned upon by the public is graffiti due to it being so closely associated with gang culture. That may be a huge issue as we move forward into our post-bankruptcy stage. When a person is so adamant that this form of art brings nothing but negativity, it eliminates any hope of free expression.

Imagine the different murals that can be created that highlight the city’s historic contributions. I think it’s time we see a little color in downtown. Our city leaders have a vision that entails having a great commercial hub in the heart of our city. What difference will it make if no one is there to experience it?

Realistically, beside the sporadic murals that have been painted at community centers and at Perris Hill Park by local community organizers, there is nothing happening that helps attract young artists to San Bernardino. Many travel to Redlands and Riverside to enjoy their art walks, and some may indulge in mural projects in other far-away locations.

If you visit cities like New York, San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles, you will notice colorful, vibrant murals that depict the rich culture that thrive in those communities.

For example, Chicano Park, which is located in the Logan Heights community in San Diego, is christened with murals and other memorabilia that commemorates Mexican-American (or Chicano) culture. In fact, the park also has sculptures, earthworks, and an architectural piece dedicated to the community’s cultural heritage.

In San Bernardino, where many migrants from diverse backgrounds settled to work in the rail yards of the Santa Fe and Union Pacific, work in the orange groves, the home of the first McDonald’s restaurant and where many young adults rode in their top-down cars through Mt. Vernon into Route 66, there is nothing of that kind. The closest thing to it is the 1977 All-America City mural that residents see as they are speeding down the E. St. corridor in the city’s north end.

It’s important that we take the time to celebrate our community’s accomplishments, and what better way to do that by allowing artists to showcase their talents. Some of these walls, like our city, are like blank canvases. If we are to become a great big hub for business development, we should also embrace the artists who can provide us with a little joy through the power of art.

The San Bernardino Art Commission is holding a meeting on Tuesday October 14 at 4PM at City Hall. If you are a fervent supporter of the arts like myself, I encourage you to speak out.

Anthony Victoria is a community writer for the Inland Empire Community Newspaper Group and can be reached at avictoria@iecn.com or at (909) 381-9898 Ext. 208

Breaking All the Records

Most of us have just begun to notice the lawn signs and radio ads for candidates this campaign season. Despite the fact that many of us are only beginning to realize we’re in the middle of campaign season, it was recently noted that outside spending is already at the highest rate of any midterm election ever. I’m sure we will continue to see more ads as Election Day nears. More attacks from the left and the right, and from wealthy interest groups . My question is: Are we better off with this much money? Is the debate more intelligent? Is there more information out there? Is our democracy better off? I would argue we’re not, on any account. Instead, we’re paying a price as corporate interests and wealthy individuals shape the debate, decide what our elections are about, and dictate who our politicians actually work for. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/outside-spending-eclipses-past-midterms/

Jeff Green

PWAP Field Organizer

Support those who care about San Bernardino

With all the negativity in San Bernardino, there is still hope. There are many residents and business owners who make that extra effort to do the positive. Tony Canul and his family own Molly’s Cafe on Court and D streets. It is not just a place that has superior food and great service, but a meeting place for business people and residents. Tony has donated a lot of money to help the Route 66 Rendevous, juvenile diabetes car shows, Veterans Day parade and many others. It’s also great to see the American flag hanging out front every morning. There are others, like Albert Okura, owner of Juan Pollo and the Original McDonald’s Museum on 14th and E streets, who, with help of Danny Castro every year puts on the Veterans Day parade car show, and honors every veteran there. Also, Steve Shaw, Allen Bone, Nick Cataldo, John Weeks and all the people who volunteer with the San Bernardino Historical Society and Santa Fe Depot Museum. No forgetting all the police, firefighters and doctors. Please help in any way to support those who are making the extra effort to help and care about San Bernardino.

Steve Portias, San Bernardino

Route 66 event not a money-maker?

I recently read where a Route 66 event gave the city of Ontario a $22 million boost to its economy. The event drew more than 70 vendors, and over 200,000 people attended. Why, then, when Route 66 Rendezvous was here in the San Bernardino area, didn’t we ever know how much the city took in from this event? Where did the money go? Into whose pocket? You can’t tell me that the city of San Bernardino didn’t make money. Let’s get real. Why didn’t the city post how much was made each year?

Norma Nash, San Bernardino

Raise rates, but don’t add to state’s bureaucracy

We know that increasing the price of water will reduce usage, so it makes sense to increase water rates. But creating a bureaucracy to collect data to decide how much water to allocate to individuals is not only intrusive, it’s also fraught with unintended consequences and it’s unfair. All equally numbered households are not alike in necessary water usage. Some individuals work out of their home, some travel a lot and are rarely home. Some families have lots of overnight company, others have none. Some grandparents take care of grandchildren during the day, some don’t. Some people have second homes or travel a lot, some are home all year. Some have special medical needs, others shower daily at the gym. There will always be special circumstances. Do we really want a growing intrusive water bureaucracy to handle all the circumstances? The best way is the simplest: Raise the rates evenly. When they get high enough, technology will find a way to supply all the water we need.

Patricia Bourdeau, Pasadena 

Make same rules for all

This is the greatest con upon the people of California yet. Money counts — lots of it. Check out your neighbors. Do you see them cutting down on water? How about the city, county, state? Parks, golf courses, schools all need to have water controlled. Like everything else, those with the most dollars have the power, but the true needed dollars come from those who can least afford it. The laws regarding water use in this state need to be implemented and enforced. You could be liable for fines of up to $500 a day for going against those new restrictions. Yet a fine of $500 means nothing to many users. I’m all for following a law. However, there must be a law to follow. I’m willing to have all my lawns die to conserve water until we get normal rainfall, but so must all my neighbors and the city and state.

Bill Noyes, Walnut

B.Y.O.B – California bans plastic bags

By Yazmin Alvarez

Headed to the grocery store?

Pack your bags.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores in a move to cut down on litter damaging to the environment.

“This bill is a step in the right direction — it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself,” Brown said in a signing statement. “We’re the first to ban these bags, and we won’t be the last.”

Under SB270, plastic bags will no longer be offered for free at checkout counters at large grocery stores and supermarkets such as Wal-Mart and Target along with pharmacies starting July 2015. It allows grocers to charge a fee of at least 10 cents for reusable plastic bags or recycled paper bags.

Eventually, bags will be phased out at convenience stores and liquor stores in 2016.

The law, however, does not apply to plastic bags used for fruits, vegetables or meats, or to non-food retailers such as clothing and electronics shops.
SB270 also limits how grocers can spend the proceeds from the charges and requires stores to provide free bags to people who are on public assistance, according to a news release issued by the Office of the Governor.

The legislation, authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), will also provide up to $2 million in competitive loans – administered by CalRecycle – to businesses transitioning to the manufacture of reusable bags, the statement said.

The bill’s author Sen. Alex Padilla says existing bans show that consumers quickly adapt and that the paper bag fees will not be very lucrative for grocers. Though California may be the first state to ban plastic bags, more than 100 cities and counties –including Los Angeles and San Francisco– already have bans in place.

Because of these existing bans, consumers will be quick to adapt to the new legislation, said Padilla in the statement.
While the new law is an effort to reduce the stream of plastic film that winds up in waterways and landfills from the bags, it does not come welcome by bag manufacturers.

The American Progressive Bag Alliance, a coalition of plastic bag manufacturers, says it will seek a voter referendum to overturn California’s law. The group has three months to gather more than 500,000 valid signatures, the number needed to place a referendum on the November 2016 ballot. The group says it will push to make sure the law does not take effect until voters have a say.

“It would jeopardize thousands of California manufacturing jobs, hurt the environment, and fleece consumers for billions so grocery store shareholders and their union partners can line their pockets,” the American Progressive Bag Alliance said in a statement.

For those concerned with being charged the 10 cent fee for a paper or plastic bag, the solution is simple: Bring your own reusable bag.
The other option is to bring a backpack or box while shopping, a similar solution wholesale stores offer at checkout.

SB270 at a glance:

•Plastic bags are only banned at check-outs at grocery stores, pharmacies and supermarkets including Target and Walmart.
•The ban does not apply to non-food shops like clothing and electronics stores.
•The ban does not apply to plastic bags used for produce and meats.
•The new law will take effect July 2015.
•The ban will expand to smaller businesses such as convenience stores and liquor stores in 2016.

Tank farm tax will generate revenue for city of Rialto

As a resident of Rialto for 25 years, I’ve witnessed and appreciated the difficulty the city has faced in managing its finances in recent years. The recession was brutal. The loss of state redevelopment funding did not help, either. It’s why last year I voted to support an extension of our utility-users tax, even though I certainly could have used the money myself. It’s a sacrifice a community is willing to make to maintain the level of services we have come to expect of our city.

Now it’s time for the billion-dollar oil and gas companies that use our tank farm in Rialto to pay their share.

Measure U, the tank farm tax, will generate $10 million a year for the city, lower our utility taxes by 2 percent and provide us with the economic wherewithal we need as a city to move forward. I love Rialto. I believe in its future. Join with me. Vote yes on U.

Judy Roberts
Rialto

Deal with crime in SB at ground level

Seems that “law” means nothing any longer, especially in San Bernardino.

Two months ago San Bernardino said it would make a stand to displace the homeless who are sleeping on business porches, sidewalks, parked cars and old trailers on the streets. That lasted two days at the most. Every morning the restaurant I go to has to argue with these folks sleeping in the patrons’ chairs and on the porch before they open up their doors.

Then we said any transient caught stealing a $350 shopping cart from retail stores to wheel around their belongings would be dealt with. Seems nothing has happened. Wonder what would happen if I walked into a grocery store and walked out with $350 in steaks?

Crime in San Bernardino needs to start being dealt with at the ground level. The number of those thinking they can do whatever they want with no repercussion is out of hand and has turned San Bernardino into a cesspool.

Steve Portias 
San Bernardino

Debt an unnecessary disaster

In the story of the “Pied Piper of Hamelin,” a swarm of rats were enchanted by the beautiful sound of a piper and followed him out of town to drown in the ocean. When the mayor refused to pay the agreed upon fee, the piper repeated the process but this time with the town’s children. An unnecessary disaster based upon greed.

Today, that sweet sound is the pitch of the GOP with their “no taxes” tune. Let’s look at some of those Republican governors. In 2011, Texas was in a $27 billion crisis. It has the highest percentage of uninsured people in the nation. Texas is 49th in school spending. Texas’ unemployment rate is higher than the national average.

Other GOP governors: New Jersey’s Chris Christie has a gaping shortfall in the budget of $2 billion. The state’s credit rating has been downgraded seven times. Where will the money come from?

Meanwhile, Kansas (Gov. Sam Brownback) is drowning in debt and the schools are failing. The people are suffering so much that Republicans are voting against him in November.

North Carolina (Gov. Pat McCrory) is currently $300 million in debt. They are projected to reach a half-billion dollars of indebtedness next year when tax cuts go into effect.

There are more failed trickle-down GOP governors, but space prohibits their mention. Business follows the no taxes tune and the people end up drowning in debt. An unnecessary disaster based upon greed.

Felix Sepulveda
San Bernardino

Aguilar will get the job done

Getting a college education isn’t just an important milestone or something we do to make ourselves more well-rounded. It’s a necessity in today’s economy to get a good paying job to support yourself. And if you’re like myself, and the millions of college-aged Americans who are looking for grants and taking out loans, it can be expensive — sometimes prohibitively so.

Paying off my student loans is a constant worry for me. It’s scary to think that even now, while I’m still in school, my loans are gaining interest and my fees will be much larger once I graduate. And if I need a graduate education for the job I want, that just means even more student loans and more debt.

Making sure that college is accessible and student loans affordable needs to be a priority for politicians.

In choosing my next congressman, I trust Pete Aguilar to stand up for students and support his plan to reform our education system. He is the only candidate who I hear talking about this issue. He is the only one who will fight for me in Congress.

Chelsea Glynn
Redlands

California State University is right for standing up for victims of sexual violence

Anthony Victoria

College is a time for adolescents and young adults to venture into a world that’s filled with the dynamism of our nation’s future leaders. However, the college experience can also be a stressful time, a difficult time, especially for those who are and have been victims of sexual violence. California could become the national model to stem such conflict. The California State University– the largest in the United States – announced on September 23 that it will appoint advocates for victims of sexual assault on all 23 of its campuses and I believe it is a step in the right direction. Our state’s top universities, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and USC are among numerous institutions around the nation who have been abysmal when dealing with sexual cases. As a result, the federal government is now conducting investigations at these campuses. The CSU’s decision to provide a support system couldn’t have came at a better time. One in five women are raped during their lifetime, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, with 40 percent of women reporting that the assaults occurred during their time in college. Imagine if your sister, your daughter, or your wife were to be a victim of rape in a place that is supposed to encourage diversity and integrity? But it’s not only limited to women. Men can be victims too. And when these people undergo so much vulnerability and struggle with self-conscious issues, it becomes difficult for them to report this to administration. Which is why it’s a wise move to bring in people who have empathy and the strength to support them in their time of need. By having a trained, designated victim advocate on campus, victims of sexual violence can learn about different options for reporting and learn about the various resources available in their community. The benefits may sound clear. However, there is a potential negative effect this decision could have if it’s not approached correctly. It’s important that these advocates stay firm and strong in their willingness to do the right thing. Administrative pressures can hinder progress that a victim undertakes due to the fear of retaliation, but it shouldn’t be an issue‒especially if you have public servants advocating for the same thing. Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Susan Davis, who this summer authored a bill that would require all U.S. colleges and universities that receive federal funding to enact similar measures, praised the CSU in a press release and expressed that others should follow suit. “I hope this trend will continue on university campuses across the nation,” said Representative Davis in the statement. As U.S. president Barack Obama expressed last week through a new initiative, “It’s on Us”. It’s up to us to hold people accountable and not look the other way. Perhaps it is time that we become advocates ourselves and condemn these continuing acts of sexual violence and abuse.

Anthony Victoria is a community writer for the Inland Empire Community Newspaper Group and can be reached at avictoria@iecn.com or at (909) 381-9898 Ext. 208

Disappointed in Colton Councilmember

At the 16 Sept. 2014 Colton council meeting, during public comment, I was dismayed to hear some disparaging news about one of our council members. Colton’s representative at the Omni-Trans and IVDA meetings is Councilman Frank Gonzales. It was reported that the councilman was late in attending the last 12 of the 12 Omni-Trans meetings, being so late at one, that the meeting was adjourned as he arrived on July 10th. Checking the minutes of the last 12 meeting showed his being late was recorded, as required by the Brown Act. Receiving a $125.00 stipend for each meeting does not seem earned. His attendance records at the IVDA meetings are almost as bad. Four occasions he was on time but was late five times and was absent three times. In my opinion, this is an embarrassment to the city of Colton. He is supposed to represent the interests of Colton but can’t make it to meetings on time and in some cases not show at all. Councilman Gonzales should have been replaced, as our representative, a long time ago, by a council member who has more of an interest in his ancillary duties for the city.

Ronald H. Lawrence

Colton, Ca.

Vote yes on both San Bernardino measures

Why would a group, the vast majority of whom are not residents of San Bernardino, be spending thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours putting up signs all over town urging San Bernardino voters to reject Measure Q, a repeal of San Bernardino Charter section 186 which sets public safety pay. Do they care more about San Bernardino than their own towns? Do they have nothing better to do with their time and money than to meddle in San Bernardino politics? No, they are people trying to protect their personal financial interests in San Bernardino’s present Charter section 186. Vote yes on Measures Q and R to help San Bernardino deal with its terrible financial situation, get out of bankruptcy, and move forward with a more businesslike City Charter to becoming a more prosperous, efficient, modern city.

Lynda K. Savage,

San Bernardino

Actually, kids need to be spanked sometimes

What kind of world are we living in? My dad was as “real” a man as you could ever find. And yes, he did take a switch to my brother and me on occasion. We deserved it every time he did it. He didn’t “beat” us, but yes, he did leave some welts. I think we turned out pretty well. In my opinion, this country started going to hell when we stopped disciplining our kids. Give them a “time-out”? Give me a break. In 1953, my fifth-grade teacher had a paddle hanging beside her blackboard and she knew how to use it. Did we back-talk her? Absolutely not. We learned not to sass our parents and we respected our law-enforcement officers, too! Now you can be tossed in jail if you raise a hand against your child and they know it. Ask anyone who grew up in the 1940s or 1950s if children were better behaved then or now. Ask any teacher. Most children are out of hand and there’s no way we can stop it. We are not preparing them for life. If the letter writer never had to spank his kids, maybe he was blessed with some very angelic children. I wasn’t and most other people aren’t, either. All you have to do is walk through a jail or prison to see that. It wasn’t that way in the “good ol’ days.”

Redgie Snodgrass,

Redlands

Greed breeds unnecessary disasters

In the story of the “Pied Piper of Hamelin,” a swarm of rats were enchanted by the beautiful sound of a piper and followed him out of town to drown in the ocean. When the mayor refused to pay the agreed upon fee, the piper repeated the process but this time with the town’s children. An unnecessary disaster based upon greed. Today, that sweet sound is the pitch of the GOP with their “no taxes” tune. Let’s look at some of those Republican governors. In 2011, Texas was in a $27 billion crisis. It has the highest percentage of uninsured people in the nation. Texas is 49th in school spending. Texas’ unemployment rate is higher than the national average. Other GOP governors: New Jersey’s Chris Christie has a gaping shortfall in the budget of $2 billion. The state’s credit rating has been downgraded seven times. Where will the money come from? Meanwhile, Kansas (Gov. Sam Brownback) is drowning in debt and the schools are failing. The people are suffering so much that Republicans are voting against him in November. North Carolina (Gov. Pat McCrory) is currently $300 million in debt. They are projected to reach a half-billion dollars of indebtedness next year when tax cuts go into effect. There are more failed trickle-down GOP governors, but space prohibits their mention. Business follows the no taxes tune and the people end up drowning in debt. An unnecessary disaster based upon greed.

Felix Sepulveda,

San Bernardino

 

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